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Chungará (Arica)

On-line version ISSN 0717-7356

Abstract

CAPPARELLI, Aylen  and  PRATES, Luciano. EXPLOITATION OF ALGARROBO (PROSOPIS SPP.) FRUITS BY HUNTER-GATHERERS FROM NORTHEAST PATAGONIA. Chungará (Arica) [online]. 2015, vol.47, n.4, pp.549-563.  Epub Aug 21, 2015. ISSN 0717-7356.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-73562015005000030.

The significance of edible plants in the subsistence of the hunter-gatherers of Southern South America has not been dealt with in depth by archaeological research. Although there are many ethnohistorical references about plant consumption by local indigenous people, archaeobotanical evidence of this practice is still scarce. In this paper, fruit macroremains of Prosopis spp. (algarrobo) coming from an archaeological context of Northern Patagonia (Argentina) are analized. The sample is comprised of 77 charred parts of Prosopis pods from the site Angostura 1 (middle Río Negro valley), with an age of ca. 900 14C yrs. BP. Pod parts and fragmentation patterns were compared with those of experimental ess ays designed on the basis of ethnohistorical data. We propose that Prosopis pods from this site were roasted before being eaten. The underrepresentation of edible Prosopis macroremains in Patagonia may be due to the low visibility of direct consumption of wild plants in the archaeological record; in the present case it is observed that this visibility increases when post-harvesting practices were incorporated between gathering and consumption stages.

Keywords : Southern South America hunter-gatherers; late Holocene; Prosopis fruit consumption.

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